Monday, June 16, 2008

Mixed Day for Homophobes

There is both good and bad news for homophobes today.

  • Gay people can start marrying today in California. This affords the anti-gay bigot a fresh excuse to throw a poo-flinging snit over gays' terrible, horrible, no good, very bad effects on The Sanctity of Marriage® or whatever.
  • There is new science indicating physiological correlates of homosexuality, further suggesting homosexuality is a biological trait rather than a chosen behavior.


Laura said...

But whether it's biological or chosen, I have to agree with Greta Christina: it doesn't matter because it doesn't hurt anybody if one is gay anymore than it matters that one prefers vanilla ice cream.

Dale said...

Laura, I definitely agree. I just can't relate to the visceral agitation that homosexuality incites in certain people. Whether choice or destiny, it really isn't as interesting as large numbers of people seem determined to make it.


Spherical said...

An interesting choice of argument for someone who holds the position that you do in regards to those who choose to believe. One could take Laura's comment and substitute belief in almost anything. If you don't think that it is harmful, then of course you would agree with her. Or if it "fits" within your value system, anyone who thinks otherwise should mind their own business. Yet there are those who believe that the breakdown of the traditional male/female parent system (whether through sexual orientation or due to divorce) is harmful to the development of children.

Sorry, but I do see the visceral agitation that both homosexuality and religious belief incite in certain people.

And if it didn't, what would we blog about?


Dale said...

Spherical, thanks. It may or may not be my place to say so, but it seems to me that if you want to be an effective concern troll, you should be more explicit about my shortcomings.

The position I take "in regards to those who choose to believe" is that they should go nuts. Turn it up to 11. But the right to believe does not entail the right to be agreed with.

The shriek of "please won't someone think of the children!??!" was funny as parody when Maude Flanders said it on the Simpsons. It falls flat when applied in earnest to gay marriage.

Laura said...

Spherical, re: "One could take Laura's comment and substitute belief in almost anything."

Which one could I substitute: "It doesn't matter because it doesn't hurt anybody if one is a (murderer, adulterer, slaveholder, wearer of linen and wool together [Deut 22:11]) any more than it matters that one prefers vanilla ice cream," and still have a valid statement? You see the problem with the inerrant word of God.

Now, aren't belief and preference two different things? You can believe in God; I can prefer to be right-handed, even though it's physically possible for me to write with my left. I'll even admit to trying it more than once, and I actually liked it, but I'm predominantly right-handed. I have friends, and possibly family members who are left-handed (not that there's anything wrong with that), and they've successfully raised happy-well adjusted children, 90% of whom are right handed.

My argument from analogy, though, is as weak as the argument of those who believe being raised by homosexuals has harmful effects on children. There is no evidence to support the belief that raising a child in a loving two-parent home, regardless of the parent's sexual orientation, is harmful to the development of children.

I grew up in a traditional male/female parent system. We went to a Bible-believing church every Sunday, and Wednesday night for prayer meeting. We were raised with "the rod" as the Bible exhorts parents to do (Proverbs 13:24). A lot of abuse was justified using Bible verses. If I am viscerally agitated, it's because I've seen too much of this in the name of following "God's word."

Lest ye think I'm only one example of a former Christian to question the veracity of the Bible, I urge you to read Bart Ehrman's "God's Problem." He has studied the Bible in its original languages at the Moody Bible Institute (which I know carries some cache with Bible literalists), and was a pastor and evangelical Christian. His research concludes that the Biblical text was unintentionally altered by scribes and sometimes even intentionally altered for a variety of reasons.

Anyway, with regard to homosexuality: live and let live.

Dale, it's all interesting to me.